‘How can I improve manufacturing performance, fast?’ This is a question that is all too familiar to factory managers. Maurice and Clark ask themselves this question every day. They know that in manufacturing, winning the race against competitors means that their factories have to operate smarter and faster. For them, ‘business as usual’ is no longer sustainable because of tougher performance benchmarks and rapidly evolving market demands. That’s where the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) comes in. Newly affordable smart devices are helping factory managers to address new industry challenges by transforming their manufacturing processes into agile, streamlined operations.
Ripping and replacing existing systems is not an option for Maurice and Clark, so they need outside IIoT expertise to help blend their existing manufacturing operations with some of the new emerging technologies.
Maurice oversees a factory that manufactures die cast toy cars. He needs to speed up output because demand is high. He understands how IIoT and Schneider Electric operational intelligence can be leveraged to accelerate time to evaluate inventory, increase visibility into material consumption on the plant floor, and improve just-in-time stock replenishment.
Across town, Clark consults with Schneider Electric experts to help expand a factory that manufactures fast luxury sports vehicles. The cost of energy is one of his highest line item expenses; large robotic arms used to assemble parts consume significant energy. Top-down visibility of energy consumption across the facility, combined with predictive analytics and real-time data, enable Clark to quickly identify energy waste and uncover issues in the supply chain before they occur, reducing costs and recall numbers.
At both factories, machines on the factory floor have a direct connection to corporate servers, providing company executives and suppliers with better visibility over operations, materials, and inventory, helping them make decisions faster. Schneider Electric solutions offer greater interconnectivity between the shop floor and top floor, linking existing automation systems at the factory with enterprise planning and scheduling systems and product life cycle systems, to provide continuous updates across multiple checkpoints.
The way a luxury car factory operates may differ from that of a toy car factory, but the goals are similar: improving operational performance, increasing profitability, and controlling costs. Today, IoT is changing the face of manufacturing so that factory managers like Maurice and Clark can reach their benchmarks much faster.